Oct 1, 2014

Art Casual

I had the pleasure of being commissioned by the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre to create a video for their Alberta Culture Days event this year. The concept was seemingly simple. I was asked to speak with young people in high school and college about what art means to them.


I visited the art, band, and drama classes at Crescent Heights High School and was immediately blown away by the passion and willingness to participate from the students. I knew from the start that the final video would be less than 5 minutes long, but I spoke to as many people as possible to try and capture their energy, uncertainty, and playfulness surrounding a question that obviously has no easy answer. The casual nature of the interviews, and the words "act casual" eventually inspired the title of the project, Art Casual.

Capturing interviews from the college students was more of a challenge as we were trying to organize things just as the semester was starting. I spoke to three visual communications students who provided some great commentary though. On a personal note, it was interesting for me to hear the difference between students who were more uncertain about why they enjoyed art in high school, to those who had pursued it through college.

In the end, that was the joy of the project for me, to ask these existential questions about art and self expression, and challenge students to explore their own work and ideas. I immediately found their creativity and passion contagious, and just putting this video together I started to feel like I was back working on a personal film school project.


I couldn't be happier with how it all came together. With our limited timeline I was nervous from the start whether we'd get enough people to speak and open up, but after my first few discussions I knew I'd come away with more than I could possibly use. Thanks again to all of the students who shared their thoughts with me, to the teachers who opened up their classrooms, and to Xanthe Isbister at the Esplanade for giving me the opportunity to do this.
Now ask yourself, what does (art, creativity, self expression) mean to you?

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